Authors: Erica Hargreave, Lori Jones, Eva Somogyi
Institutions: BCIT / UBC / StoryToGo / Ahimsa Media, School District 8 Kootenay Lake / UBC, BCIT / UBC
Topic: Applications of Open Education Practices/Open Pedagogy/Open Education Research
Sector: Lifelong Learning
UNESCO Area of Focus: Inclusive OER
Session Format: Lightning Talk
AbstractWho decides what makes content accessible? Are we asking learners with disabilities what makes learning accessible to them, what is problematic, and what solutions work best?
It is our belief that educators need to listen more to learners with disabilities in order to create accessibility that meets their needs, rather than decide what is best for them.
While this is not a new problem when it comes to online learning, it has been highlight by educators’ sudden move to online learning environments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Add to this the minimal resources that creators of open educational resources face, and it is often all too easy to justify not taking the time to make resources accessible to all potential learners or to make broad decisions as to what will make a resource accessible without the input of learners with disabilities.
To address this issue, we are setting out to create a variety of open and free-to-access, educator focused resources that share the voices and experiences of learners with disabilities with online learning. Our goal is to support educators in making their online learning experiences universally accessible by asking and listening to learners with disabilities. The resources that we develop as a part of this project will include a vlogcast series on accessibility matters (sharing the voices, faces, and stories of the disabled community on what accessibility in open, online learning experiences means to them), case studies in the form of blog posts from the accessibility matters vlogcast, and themed open educational courses/units for educators on accessibility in online learning, starting with an open educational course on ableism and how to invite learners with disabilities into the conversation to create truly accessible education.
accessibility, ableism, online education, online learning